ASBAREZ ONLINE [06-03-2004]

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06/03/2004
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1) ARF’s Margarian Meets with France’s Socialist Party Representative
2) ARF Western Europe Convention Convenes in France
3) Ghukasian Says Karabagh Constitution First Step to Statehood
4) US Karabagh Envoy Again in Yerevan
5) Conference to Tackle New Challenges in the Changing Armenian American Youth
Identity in Armenian Schools

1) ARF’s Margarian Meets with France’s Socialist Party Representative

PARIS (ARF Press Office)–Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau
representative Hrant Margarian congratulated France’s Socialist Party first
secretary François Hollande for his party’s firm stance on Turkey’s entry into
the European Union, suggesting the party exert efforts to convince other
European socialist parties to follow suit. Hollande confirmed that he has
pursued the matter with newly elected President of the European Socialist
Party
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, and will work more actively in the coming weeks to push
the issue. The two met at the Paris headquarters of the Socialist Party on
June
3.
Hollande explained that though it was not possible to get an ARF
representative to an electable position in the upcoming European Parliament
elections, he assured that the matter would be resolved in time for other
European and French elections.
Noting ARF’s integral participation in Socialist International, Margarian
said
the ARF of Armenia, as a coalition government partner, is able to advance
socialist ideology through its activities, and works toward Armenia’s European
integration. The Bureau representative invited Hollande to visit Armenia as a
guest of the ARF, on the occasion of General Assembly of CIS Socialist
parties;
Hollande accepted.
Margarian revealed that the ARF plans to establish the Hrair Maroukhian
Foundation to follow the example of France’s Jean Juares Foundation, which
seeks to foster democracy and social justice by assisting Socialist
International party members in the “new democracies” that emerged following
the
collapse of dictatorships in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Hollande
promised to collaborate with the ARF on the venture.
Also participating during the meeting between Holland and Margarian were
France’s Socialist Party international secretary Philip Cordery and ARF
Western
Europe Central Committee members Mourad Papazian and Charles Papazian.
During a joint press conference that followed, Hollande announced that in a
recent letter he appealed to the president of Turkey to address the issue and
recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The sides also announced that a joint ARF, Socialist Party of France
announcement had been signed that calls for Turkey’s recognition of the
Armenian Genocide and calls on [European] citizens to cast their votes in
favor
of Socialist party candidates.

2) ARF Western Europe Convention Convenes in France

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–A reception marking the opening of Armenian Revolutionary
Federation (ARF) Western Europe’s 68th regional convention took place at the
French Parliament building on June 2, with a guest list that included ARF
Bureau representative Hrant Margarian, Armenia’s Ambassador to France Eduard
Nalbandian, Mountainous Karabagh Republic’s representative to France Hovhannes
Gevorgian, as well French Parliament members and representatives of Armenian
organizations.
ARF Western Europe Central Committee representative Murad Papazian explained
the ARF decided to hold its regional convention at the French parliament in
order to pay tribute to France which recognized the Armenian Genocide in the
very building.
“As a result, and through the Armenian National Committee’s active
involvement, the ARF has registered several victories in countries that have
recognized the Armenian Genocide,” explained Papazian. “And the party
continues
to work in two directions in Europe: to pass a law in France punishing those
that deny the Armenian genocide; and prevent Turkey from joining the European
Union unless it admits the genocide.”
Papazian said the regional convention will review a draft program on
Mountainous Karabagh, strengthen Armenia-France cooperation in 2005, and
discuss the fate of Javakhk, as well as issues on advancing the Armenian
issues
in Europe’s cultural and political arenas.
ARF Bureau representative Margarian welcomed the gathering, stressing the
importance of the party’s European organization. He also spoke of the ARF’s
activities in Armenia that promote a comprehensive fight against corruption,
the implementation of a drastic poverty reduction program, and Constitutional
reforms to strengthen democratic mechanisms.
Representatives of various political parties expressed support for many
issues
the ARF advances, while Ambassador Nalbandian said it is difficult to imagine
the Diaspora without the ARF, whose history is amalgamated with that of the
Armenian nation.

3) Ghukasian Says Karabagh Constitution First Step to Statehood

STEPANAKERT (Armenpress)–At the first session of the Constitutional
Commission
of Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR), President Arkady Ghukasian said that
Karabagh must have a Constitution. “The adoption of standard law will
become an
important step on the way to gaining statehood,” said the president, who
chaired the session of the new commission that met on Thursday.
“Mountainous Karabagh Republic cannot wait forever, hoping Azerbaijan will
agree to engage in direct dialogue with Karabagh on a final resolution to the
conflict. Karabagh must develop into a democratic country with the rule of
law,” he stated.
A work group has formed to elaborate on formulating a Constitution.

4) US Karabagh Envoy Again in Yerevan

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–US chief negotiator on Mountainous Karabagh paid a low-key
visit to Yerevan on Thursday to focus on international efforts to resolve the
conflict.
Steven Mann was recently appointed the US co-chair of the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group tasked with finding a
resolution to the Karabagh conflict.
Mann held separate meetings with President Robert Kocharian and Foreign
Minister Vartan Oskanian for the second time in six weeks. No details of the
talks were made public, with the Mann declining to comment on the purpose of
his trip and the current status of the peace process. “I am just having talks
with the Armenian government,” he said, without elaborating.
A brief statement by Kocharian’s office said Mann discussed the Karabagh
conflict and informed the president about his talks with Azeri leaders in Baku
on Wednesday.
Mann’s previous trip to Yerevan was followed by a meeting in Poland between
Kocharian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Foreign Minister Vartan
Oskanian and his Azeri counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov met in Strasbourg two
weeks
later, emerging from it with cautiously optimistic statements. The Armenian
Foreign Ministry said the two ministers will meet again in Prague on June 21,
adding that Oskanian and the US mediator spoke about details of that meeting.
Speaking at Yerevan State University earlier on Thursday, Oskanian said that
the negotiation process is “not on a bad track” at the moment and is
“following
in the footsteps of previous talks.” “I think that in the next two months we
will have more clarity as to whether we can build on the base that has been
created during all these years…or Azerbaijan wants to divert that process to
another direction,” he said, reiterating Yerevan’s hopes of reviving peace
accords reached by the parties three years ago.
Oskanian repeated the Armenian side’s insistence on a single “package” accord
that would resolve all contentious issues. He added that it will agree to a
phased settlement only if the majority of Armenians want so. “If there is
really a public consensus that we should go for a phased solution, then we
will
have no problem,” he said. “But to be honest, I don’t see popular demand for a
phased solution.”

5) Conference to Tackle New Challenges in the Changing Armenian American Youth
Identity in Armenian Schools

BURBANK–In an effort to address and reassess the cultural identity
development
process of the Armenian-American youth, the Board of Regents of Prelacy
Armenian Schools has organized a conference, “Armenian Education In North
America: Reassessment In The Context Of The Changing Armenian American
Identity,” June 4-5, at Woodbury University.
A variety of questions will be tackled, including the sociological and
psychological view on cultural identity development, pedagogical challenges in
Armenian education and instruction, and the need for reassessing the existing
Armenian curriculum.
Over the past 30 years, the concept of cultural identity development has been
the focus of a wide body of research. During this period, as society has
become
structurally more complex, the findings of research related to cultural
identity have confirmed that members of culturally diverse groups undergo a
developmentally-based process through which they form a cultural identity that
defines their bi- or multicultural status in society. Thus, regardless of the
specific characteristics of a cultural group, an individual’s minority status
in a dominating culture (i.e., White) triggers the process of cultural
identity
development as a result of the larger majority-minority dynamics in society.
As such, the cultural identity development of the Armenian American
student is
a critical factor that must be taken into account in the context of the
curricula of Armenian schools in America. The conference will attempt to
systematically explore the relevance of cultural identity development to
Armenian American students, and to find practical ways of giving students the
opportunity to successfully integrate the various components of their cultural
identity into a constructive whole.
After opening remarks by Yeznig Kazandjian of the Board of Regents and a
program introduction by Dr. Rubina Peroomian of UCLA, the Friday session will
commence.
Session I, from 10:00 AM12:00 Noon, will address the Development of the
Armenian American Cultural Identity: A Sociological Perspective. Panelists
include LAUSD School Psychologist Garine Minasian, LAUSD School
Psychologist/Bilingual Armenian Assessment Jeannine Topalian, and Mesrobian
Armenian School Principal Hilda Saliba, among other distinguished experts in
the field. Session II, from 1:30 PM3:30 PM, will focus on the psychological
perspective of the development of the Armenian American cultural identity,
with
a presentation by Rose & Alex Pilibos School Principal Dr. Viken Yacoubian,
and
panelists including Pasadena High School Assistant Principal Curriculum and
Instruction Marisa Sarian, Clinical Psychologist Dr. Nora Sahakian, and
Krouzian Zakarian Vasbouragan Armenian School Principal Olia Yenikomshian,
among others.
With the instruction of Armenian subject matters a primary component in
Armenian schools, Saturday’s session will be devoted to how the Armenian
language, history, national-religious studies, and cultural heritage are
taught
through traditional curricula, using content-appropriate textbooks, as well as
the challenges and necessary steps to be taken.
Session I, from 10:00 AM12:00 Noon will delve into the pedagogical challenges
in Armenian education and instruction. Presenters on the topic include UCLA
Research Associate Dr. Rubina Peroomian, and Educational Consultant/trainee
David Ghougassian.
The reassessment of the Armenian curriculum is the focus of Session II, from
1:30 PM3:30 PM, with presentations by AGBU Manoogian-Demirjian School
Principal
Hagop Hagopian, and Holy Martyrs Ferrahian School Principal John Kossakian.
The Armenian daily schools in North America have a history that dates back
more than forty years. The 21st century places new challenges in terms of
reassessing Armenian education and identity, and the praiseworthy input of all
the participants will surely mark it as a productive and successful
conference.

Location: Woodbury University
Cabrini Hall (New Woody’s)
7500 Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, CA 91510

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Canada Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group

Office of Sarkis Assadourian M.P.
120 Confederation
House of Commons, Ottawa, Canada
Contact: Daniel Kennedy
Tel: 613 995 4843

Communiqué

For Immediate Release Ottawa June 3, 2004

On June 2, 2004, Mr. Sarkis Assadourian M.P. (Brampton Centre,
Lib.): Chair Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group convened
a consultative meeting of fourteen prominent Canadian Armenians on
Parliament Hill. As a result of discussions held, the following needs
of the Canadian Armenian Community were identified.

* An effective means to present Armenian issues to the
Canadian public through educational seminars.
* The presentation of appropriate projects in Armenia
to C.I.D.A. for funding.
* Reflecting on Motion M-380, promoting the recognition
and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide by the
Government of Canada through education.
* The establishment of a Canadian Embassy in Armenia.
* The enhancement of trade cultural and educational
relations between Canada and Armenia.
* Continue to support the Parliamentary Exchange Program
to enhance Parliamentary Relations between Canada
and Armenia.

Mr. Assadourian was asked by those present at the meeting to consult
with the Canadian Armenian Community across the country, to identify
and further define realizable ways to address these needs. It is
expected that these consultations will take place over the coming
two or three months.

Commenting on the meeting Assadourian said. “I would like to thank
all of the participants for their input and I assure you that I will
continue to apply my firm dedication to the freedom of expression
and the principles of democracy and that I will continue to work
with any individuals or organizations that dedicate themselves to
these principles to enhance Canadian Armenian relations and enrich
Canadian Armenian Life.”

-30-

Armenian minister says progress in Karabakh talks to be achieved soo

Armenian minister says progress in Karabakh talks to be achieved soon

Mediamax news agency
3 Jun 04

Yerevan, 3 June: Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan did not
rule out today that “certain progress” can be achieved in the Nagornyy
Karabakh conflict settlement within the next two months.

Vardan Oskanyan said that he did not expect the mediators to exert
pressure on the parties to the conflict and make them sign a peace
treaty.

Commenting on the possibility of the resumption of hostilities in
the Karabakh conflict zone, the Armenian foreign minister said that
after the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline was put into operation,
chances of starting a new war would be “quite slim”.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Kazakh envoy presents credentials to Armenian president

Kazakh envoy presents credentials to Armenian president

Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, Almaty
3 Jun 04

Astana, 3 June: The Kazakh ambassador in Moscow, Krymbek Kusherbayev,
who is also the ambassador in Yerevan and Helsinki, has presented
credentials to Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, the Kazakh embassy
in Russia told Interfax-Kazakhstan today.

During the conversation that followed the ceremony of presenting
credentials, which took place in Yerevan on 2 June, Kocharyan “showed
a lively interest in the Kazakh experience of economic reforms,
especially in the programme of industrial and innovation development
until 2015”, a press release by the Kazakh embassy says.

Kocharyan, the press release says, noted that Armenia “aims for
closer cooperation with Kazakhstan and would welcome joint economic
projects and the entry of major Kazakh banks into attractive sectors”
of its economy.

Preparations for the summits of the Collective Security Treaty
Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community, which are due to
be held in Astana in June, were also discussed at the meeting.

Armenia, as well as Kazakhstan, is a fully-fledged member of the
Collective Security Treaty Organization and has observer status in
the Eurasian Economic Community, whereas Kazakhstan is a fully-fledged
member of the organization.

Armenian president compares opposition rallies to TV soaps

Armenian president compares opposition rallies to TV soaps

Ayastani Anrapetutyun, Yerevan
2 Jun 04

Text of article “Kocharyan: Steps that harm the country’s image are –
if not betrayal – close to it” published by the Armenian newspaper
Ayastani Anrapetutyun on 2 June:

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan touched, inter alia, on political
matters when he gave a news conference in Gyumri. Opposition activity
was among the issues that came up, and the president said that one of
the newspapers compared opposition “rallies” to Brazilian soap operas.

“This is a very exact comparison. I do not watch Brazilian soap operas
and, as they [the rallies] are similar, I do not have the time or
the interest to spend on them.”

Kocharyan added that the rallies take place so often that they [the
slogans] could be mimed to a recording. “If that happened, they would
be taking care of their health. Maybe they have been doing this for
a long time and we simply did not think of it.”

Kocharyan was asked: “Mr President, the opposition has refused
any dialogue. In this situation, do you see a way of resolving the
domestic political crisis?” Replying, he first emphasized that there
is no domestic political crisis in Armenia.

“Crisis means a situation where state bodies cannot implement their
obligations properly. In our country this could happen when, for
instance, the coalition had problems in the National Assembly to the
extent that it was impossible to take decisions. That would really
be a crisis and our constitution has strictly defined that.

“We should make a proper assessment about the present situation. Yes,
we have a conflict between the opposition and the authorities. But
where is there not such a conflict?

“Generally, authorities-opposition relations have conflict as their
basis. The issue is whether this conflict takes place in a civilized
or non-civilized form. Both the National Assembly and the government
are working very fruitfully. Evidence of this is that the budget is
being fulfilled, debts have not accumulated and obligations are being
implemented, and serious economic growth has happened in the country.

“In this situation, the opposition can return to the parliament or
can choose not to. Life and our work will continue. Everything is
very dynamic. There is a conflict between the authorities and the
opposition, and one side in that conflict – the opposition – has
refused to take the civilized option.”

The issue of opposition activity in Strasbourg also came up during
the news conference.

“Try and strain your imagination. Can you imagine Karen Demirchyan
and Vazgen Sarkisyan working against their own country. If somebody is
able to imagine this, then there is no point in continuing an answer
to the question. Knowing them, I am sure it is impossible to imagine
such a thing. Here I mean the scale of a person.

“If people are very petty in their scale, then they work in such
a scenario against their own country not only in Strasbourg but
also elsewhere. Is this betrayal or not? I do not want to use such
terms. But one thing is evident: any step that harms the image of
the country, especially abroad, is – if not betrayal – close to it.”

As previously reported, the PACE monitoring group will be in Armenia
14-17 June to study the implementation of the demands fixed in the
PACE resolution. Kocharyan said that the purpose of the visit has
not been assessed correctly.

“They (the group) will come, have meetings and draw conclusions for
the Council of Europe.”

However, Kocharyan says that this does not mean that they will come
and we shall report to them what we have done and how.

“We should not view international organizations as higher bodies. We
have already said: we are a member-country of this organization. We
should try to present the reality: what has happened? What is the
situation in Armenia today? And the monitors should report back the
results of their investigation to the Council of Europe. If we have
shortcomings in some areas, we should try to correct them.”

The president stressed that in such matters it is necessary to use
other formulations: “We are an independent country and we should
work with our people in such a way so as not to damage the values
of independence.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Armenia welcomes establishment of new Iraqi government

Armenia welcomes establishment of new Iraqi government

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
2 Jun 04

Yerevan welcomes the establishment of the provisional Iraqi government
and hopes that the new government will succeed in creating conditions
in Iraq that will promote the implementation of democratic changes
and will conduct free and fair elections in January 2005, a spokesman
for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Gamlet Gasparyan, told Arminfo
news agency today.

The spokesman said that Armenia has confirmed its readiness to take
part in the reconstruction of Iraq along with the international
community for the sake of establishing peace and stability in Iraq
and in the whole region.

BAKU: Media chief urges BBC to end “anti-Azerbaijani” propaganda

Media chief urges BBC to end “anti-Azerbaijani” propaganda

Yeni Musavat, Baku
3 Jun 04

Text of Farah report by Azerbaijani newspaper Yeni Musavat on 3 June
headlined “The behaviour of the BBC employees runs counter to the
rules of journalism” and subheaded “‘Azar Hasrat: ‘Let them engage
in impartial journalism, not in anti-Azerbaijani propaganda'”

The recent lopsided stance of the BBC Russian Service on Azerbaijan
has caused discontent by numerous organizations. The Confederation
of Azerbaijani Journalists [CAJ] reacted to the issue yesterday.

A statement issued by the CAJ secretary-general, Azar Hasrat, described
the activities of the BBC radio employees as a violation of the rules
of journalism. Hasrat, who does not agree with the position of the
radio’s Russian service on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, said
that the journalists should take an equal approach to the conflicting
parties irrespective of their language and religion. He thinks
that no-one should act as a propagandist, abusing their position as
a journalist.

“As we can see, journalists [names omitted] visit the Azerbaijani lands
under Armenian occupation without the permission of the Azerbaijani
state. In addition, they are preparing pro-Armenian reports from
there. Being a journalist does not mean that one can enter the
territory of a certain country without permission. The abovementioned
BBC journalists and some other mass media representatives actually
show disrespect for international and national rules by visiting the
Azerbaijani territories under Armenian occupation without permission.
Such illegal behaviour by journalists from Western countries makes
an unpleasant impression on their Azerbaijani counterparts when they
try to learn Western journalism,” he said.

To recap, the CAJ which unites the country’s 13 journalist
organizations have always evaluated the developments only from the
viewpoint of impartial journalism and refrains from any actions that
damage the solidarity of journalists.

“This does not mean that we are going to keep silent just because
those who groundlessly propagate against our state and nation are
journalists. We have the right to demand that journalists respect our
state’s laws and borders just like we demand that the government
respect the rights of journalists. Sticking to this position,
we call on the BBC journalists and management to engage not in
anti-Azerbaijani propaganda, but in impartial journalism. Moreover,
we wish the Azerbaijani journalists working for the BBC to express
their civic position,” he said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

BAKU: US considers Azerbaijan strategic ally

US considers Azerbaijan strategic ally

AzerNews
3 June 04

Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel-General Safar Abiyev received
a US delegation headed by Kurt Weldon, Chairman of the US Congress
Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday.

Recalling that President Aliyev presented the NATO-Azerbaijan
cooperation plan to the NATO Secretary General in Brussels last week,
Abiyev said the President had reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s commitment to
cooperate with the US to fight international terrorism. Touching
upon the Upper Garabagh conflict, General Abiyev emphasized that
Armenia had ignored the UN Security Council’s four resolutions on an
unconditional withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied
lands of Azerbaijan and the international community had not recognized
Armenia as an aggressor.

Weldon said he had come to Baku to hold talks on expanding the military
cooperation between the US and Azerbaijan. He said that during a
recent visit to Moscow, he reminded Russian officials of Azerbaijan’s
tremendous role in security issues. “The US will continue relations
with Azerbaijan as its strategic ally”, he said. With regard to the
Upper Garabagh conflict, Weldon said he supports the stepping up of
the efforts of his country in this respect. Several members of the US
Congress attending the meeting expressed their appreciation to the
Azerbaijani side for supporting the US in combating international
terrorism and confidence that an extensive cooperation with the US
is in store for Azerbaijan.

Foreign investment in Armenia grows 22% in Q1

Foreign investment in Armenia grows 22% in Q1

Interfax
03.06.2004
 
Yerevan. June 2 (Interfax) – Foreign investment in Armenia grew
21.7% year-on-year to $41.8 million in the first quarter of 2004,
the National Statistics Service told Interfax.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) grew 74.5% to $27.9 million, the
service said.

Foreign investment in the real sector grew 26.3%. Foreign direct
investment in the real sector was up 89.7%.

During the quarter, 36.5% of the FDI went into the food industry,
27.1% into communications and 11.7% into transport.

Foreign investments in Armenia grew 5.6% to $229.6 million in 2003. FDI
grew 8.9% to $153 million.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

BAKU: Controversial mobile carrier in Upper Garabagh owned by Armeni

Controversial mobile carrier in Upper Garabagh owned by Armenian

AzerNews
3 June 2004

The recent rumors concerning the operation of a US mobile
communications company in the self-proclaimed Upper Garabagh Republic
have triggered a serious public outcry in Azerbaijan. Minister of
Communications and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov, touching upon
the issue, said ‘Telecom-2’ mobile communications company operating
in Upper Garabagh is owned not by the US but by an Arab country and
is managed by an Armenian.

Abbasov went on to say that in an effort to stop the company’s
unlawful activity, the Ministry has addressed the International
Telecommunications Union and GSM Association.

An appeal was also forwarded to all mobile communication operators
cooperating with Azerbaijan not to conclude any roaming agreements with
‘Telecom-2’.